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Will This Knowledge Give You Power…or Anxiety?


To know…Not to know…To know…Not to know…

That’s the question.

Fascinating new research now gives us at least some ability to discover our risks for certain diseases, conditions, tendencies…but do we really want to know.

Well, that depends…on your philosophy, your desire and willingness to be proactive (even if it means significant lifestyle changes,) and your tendency toward worry and anxiety.

The company 23andMe has been working on personal DNA testing for years, but now thanks to some funding and advancements information about current and future health concerns is affordable and accessible to all of us. (Currently $99)

Want to know if you’re at higher risk for Parkinson’s or Breast cancer? How gluten affects your body? Which medications you’re likely to have a bad reaction too?

What about your children? Do you want to know what their risks are or if you’re a carrier and what you’ve possibly passed down to your children?

23andMe also gives you recommendations and keeps you updated on new advancements. There’s also a really neat ancestry component that lets you find relatives you may not have known existed through DNA matching…Fascinating.

Also a bit scary and Orwellian to some.

It’s not perfect science and it’s definitely not comprehensive. It’s certainly no guarantee either. For many conditions, lifestyle plays a far greater role than does genetics, but…

Since I firmly fall into the “Knowledge is power” camp, I want to know as much as I possibly can about my health risks so that I can address them, monitor them and prepare for them as much as possible. Since I’m also a card-carrying member of the “Plagued by anxiety and worry” camp, I’ll have to deal with that part too.

Yes, genetic advancements may open the door for some disturbing and possibly dangerous possibilities. But the reality is genetic research and personal DNA is the future of medicine, so we might as well use it to our advantage to whatever extent we can.

My birthday is right around the corner…and you can bet that this is at the top of my list of gifts that I’m giving myself.

What about you? Do you want to know?



(Watch how Dr. Nancy Snyderman looks at her breast cancer risk on the Today show)


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What Happened to Original Thought? Have We Edged it Out?



Do you ever find that you’re so busy taking in information, that you have no time or space for original thoughts?

I sure do…the noise gets quite loud in there sometimes.

I have to wonder if it’s that we’re obsessed with gathering information…that we’re afraid to miss out on something…or that we’re trying to distract ourselves from the need to think for ourselves, because we’re afraid we don’t have the answers or perhaps because we’re afraid we do and we don’t really want to know what they are.

Is it information overload, obsessive curiosity, or plausible self-deniability?

An interesting question…

It’s true there are some people who are prolific thought originators despite the noise, but that’s simply not most of us and it’s certainly not me.

This week, try to slow the information deluge to a dribble and see if you can’t make some room for original thoughts. They don’t have to be earth-shatteringly creative, or innovative, they just need to be yours instead of regurgitation of someone else’s…

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Don’t Fall Victim to Google Death: Time is Running Out to Save Your Feeds before it’s Too Late


Google holds all the cards… Or at least they like to think so. But in reality when they mess with their programs, we as users are greatly affected. When they announced a while back that they were eliminating Google Reader, I admit I whined and bitched a little. I like Google Reader, it’s always been solid and dependable…but alas as of July 1…it is no more.

If you don’t subscribe to any RSS feeds of your favorite blogs, news sites etc., then feel free to pass along to someone who does? (I really hope that you are alternatively subscribing via email…please don’t tell me you are checking the sites directly – who has the time.)

So, what are you going to do with all of your RSS feeds?

It’s actually really simple…takes just a few minutes…


Option 1 — Subscribe by email

RSS is a wonderful technology — but it isn’t for everyone. Many readers don’t want to check RSS feeds; they just want their favorite posts to appear in their email inbox so they don’t have to go looking for them.

That’s why — if you enjoy ProductiveLifeConcepts posts — you should subscribe via email.

Email is not going away. Neither are email subscriptions. Unless you want them to. Control is a wonderful thing.


Option 2 — Find an alternate RSS reader

There are many other RSS readers to choose from. Feedly is my favorite, and that’s what I have been using in anticipation of the shutdown. Luckily, Feedly has a handy one-click Google Reader import, so they make is very easy for you. They also have more detailed migration instructions here: Tips for Google reader users migrating to Feedly.

If for some reason Feedly doesn’t strike your fancy or suit your particular needs, Marketing Land has published a useful list of other options – 12 Google Reader Alternatives.

*If you do not migrate to another reader, all of your feeds will be lost!


How you choose to get your favorite information is up to you.

You have three choices…

Subscribe via email.

Choose a new RSS reader.

Or lose access to all of your feeds…

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Why You Need To Think Before You Speak


Often we think we speak without thinking, words rushing out of our mouths before we even have a chance to consider the truth, intention, and value of them.

The whole point of words is to communicate something, some information, some feeling, and the intent and usefulness of those words is lost if we don’t consider them before we speak them.

Try to catch yourself throughout the day, with just a brief pause before you speak and ask yourself these three very simple questions:

Is my thought or my words true?

Is it really true? Do I know it to be true or could it be speculation?

Often we accept our thoughts and our words as truth before even really considering whether they are fact-based or simply conjecture.

Is my thought or my words kind?

Remember that old saying, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”

Consider that. Sometimes we do have to express anger or disappointment, bring attention to a wrong, or argue our point. But that doesn’t mean we can’t still be kind, considerate, and respectful in our words. Words don’t have to be critical, mean, or judgmental to make their point, quite the opposite, that will cause people to shut down, turn away, or be defensive, none of which are conducive to real connection and communication.

Is my thought or my words necessary?

If what I’m thinking or saying isn’t useful or helpful then what’s the point? I’m just wasting my time, energy, focus and brainpower on thoughts and words that have no value.

It’s really very simple. Pause before you speak and ask yourself if what you’re going to say is true, kind, and necessary. If it’s not, try keeping it to yourself. Or even better let the thought go altogether, because it’s probably not serving you either.

Life’s too short to waste your words on something hurtful.

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Is Our Tolerance For Information Shifting?


We used to read the morning paper, maybe watch the evening news, but in between we went about our business, doing whatever it is that we do, with only the occasional gossip break.

But now, information is coming at us 24/7…often with no filter or clear purpose. It’s just there, so much of it to sift through. Good, bad, interesting, repetitive, useful, useless, sensational, ridiculous, inspiring, disheartening.

The questions that interests me are…

How has our tolerance for information, both good and bad, changed?

How have we changed the way we absorb information?

And what has this done to our attention span and our ability to digest that information?

In other words, we know the way we consume information is changing, but is our tolerance and absorption changing as well?

I know for myself as someone who is surrounded by information on a daily basis, I have found a decreased tolerance for that information as well as a shift toward an increasingly shallow absorption.

Because information is everywhere I have to filter it…heavily. What that means for me is…limiting my “information channels” - I’m so plugged in to the internet, that I don’t really want information from the TV news or the newspaper or radio. In fact, I’ll turn the channel just to shut it out…it’s too much for me to take in.

I prefer short and to the point! If the article is more than a few paragraphs, I skim it, more than 700 words, I won’t even bother to read it usually…unless I’m extremely intrigued…or I just love the way the author writes. Why do we need to use 1,000 words, when 100 will do?

I have very little tolerance for:

Rehash - I’ve heard it before…Let’s face it, most of what we read is nothing new. It’s just a re-hash of the same old information with a new title. I don’t need to waste my brain space on something I already know.

Blah-Blah-Blah – As I said above…Get to the point please!

Sub-standard – If you can’t spell or string together sentences properly…don’t write. If you can’t use intelligent words and express yourself clearly…don’t try to report the news (Eye candy does not interest me – a brain does.)

Celebrity license – For heaven’s sake, don’t publish a book – that you probably didn’t even write – and expect me to be interested just because you have a recognizable face or name. I’m really not that interested in your life…

I have to work harder than ever before…

I find that since information is coming at me at such volume and speed, I have difficulty thoroughly absorbing and digesting it, let alone actually using it in any real way. I have to consciously force myself to slow down and pay attention, to re-read and take notes even.

I’m definitely more discerning, less tolerant and less likely to absorb at a deep knowledge level. I’m not giving up on information…not at all…I just know that I have to be more conscious about what I put into my brain.

And now I am getting perilously close to that line of too long, too much, too unfocused…

So I’ll say…Thanks for reading.

How has your tolerance, intake and absorption shift? Or hasn’t it?

 Please feel free to leave a comment or share on our Facebook page!

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